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Eye-catching 2020 exhibitions show art from French painters to modern sculptors

Eye-catching 2020 exhibitions show art from French painters to modern sculptors

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Derek Fordjour

"Five Down Wide" (2019) by Derek Fordjour. Acrylic, charcoal, oil pastel and foil on newspaper mounted on canvas. 

Courtesy of Night Gallery, Los Angeles

Cars, stones and fabric are some of the mediums featured in this year's major art exhibitions. But no worries — more traditional paintings and photographs won't be forgotten. Here are five (plus) things to look forward to in the visual arts.

"The Gleaners" by Jean-Francois Millet

"The Gleaners" (1857) by Jean-François Millet

Courtesy of St. Louis Art Museum

St. Louis Art Museum • The St. Louis Art Museum's three major exhibitions this year open with "Millet and Modern Art," which stars not only French artist Jean-François Millet, but works he influenced, including paintings by Vincent van Gogh, Winslow Homer, Edvard Munch and others. "Millet" runs Feb. 16 through May 17. Next is "Cars: Accelerating the Modern World," an exhibition on autos and their influence on design. It is now at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and will be on view June 28-Sept. 13. Following the cars will be "Paintings on Stone: Science and the Sacred, 1530-1800," which will run Oct. 25-Jan. 17, 2021. Fifty-eight artists (and 34 different stones) will be represented. (St. Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park; slam.org)

Edition MAT

Untitled "Ohne Titel" (1965) by Julio Le Parc

Courtesy of Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum

Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum • Artworks in duplicate, triplicate and more reflected a way to democratize the works during the 1960s. With “Multiplied: Edition MAT and the Transformable Work of Art, 1959-1965,” the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University says it is showing the first major U.S. exhibition to survey a project spurred by artist Daniel Spoerri. Spoerri urged people such as Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Josef Albers to create multiple artworks that could also change through movement or point of view. More than 100 works will be part of the exhibition. Meanwhile, also opening will be a collection of work that addresses racism in "Truths and Reckonings: The Art of Transformative Racial Justice," which will explore "how art and art institutions contribute to transitional justice by confronting histories of racist violence and their legacies today." The exhibitions run Feb. 7 through April 19. (Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, 1 Brookings Drive; kemperartmuseum.wustl.edu; closed Monday through Jan. 21 for installations)

Derek Fordjour

"Tandem Blue" (2018) by Derek Fordjour. Acrylic, charcoal, oil, pastel and foil on newspaper mounted on canvas.

Courtesy of Night Gallery, Los Angeles

Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis • Photographer Liz Johnson Artur, who grew up in Bulgaria, Germany and Russia, was the daughter of a Ghanaian man, but she had little early contact with black communities. She now has spent 30 years photographing people across the African diaspora. The Contemporary Art Museum’s upcoming "Liz Johnson Artur: Dusha" draws from the artist's Black Balloon Archive. Highly anticipated is the first solo museum exhibition from the fast-rising Derek Fordjour, "SHELTER," and a video, "The Thirsty Bird," by Marina Zurkow. They all run Jan. 17 through April 19. (Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 3750 Washington Boulevard; camstl.org)

Sheldon Concert Hall & Art Galleries • Three hundred feet of cloth, the panoramic "Riverwork Project" conceived Sun Smith-Forêt, goes on display at the Sheldon. Other exhibitions include "Mississippi River Views" with photos by Jennifer Colten, John Guider and John Hilgert. A retrospective, "Principal Perspectives," looks at the work of the late architect Phil Durham. A gallery of children's art will hold pieces by students at East St. Louis' Christian Activity Center, and another gallery will show drawings and paintings in "Benjamin Pierce: Fairgrounds." The exhibitions run Feb. 14 through April 11. (Sheldon Concert Hall & Art Galleries, 3648 Washington Boulevard; thesheldon.org)

Pulitzer Arts Foundation • Interdisciplinary artist Terry Adkins, who died in 2014, often brought attention to little-known historical figures, such as Matthew Henson, a black explorer who accompanied Robert Peary in 1909 to what Peary reported was the North Pole. "Terry Adkins: Resounding" at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation will "trace the artist’s development over his more than three-decade career with nearly 50 works across a variety of media including sound, sculpture, video and printmaking." The exhibition runs March 13 to Aug. 2. (Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Boulevard; pulitzerarts.org)

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